The gardaí are monitoring the social media posts of suspected Islamic jihadists living in Ireland.
They are also looking at ways to step up security following the recent massacre involving a lorry in Nice and the axe attack on a train in Germany. The increased alertness comes after the cross Europe police agency Europol asked Ireland to modernise its interception laws and improve the monitoring of suspects.
Security chiefs fear that EU countries are facing an “elevated threat” from jiadists and this was likely to increase.
The British director of Europol, Rob Wainwright, told the Irish Examiner: “I think we haven’t yet reached a stage where we have the right, balanced, proportional, modern system of managing the way terrorists make use of the internet.
“I think there is a bit of a vacuum in the law and a vacuum in how we deal with that in society. As these countries move more and more to Ireland as Ireland becomes a data hub, it’s important Ireland gets that right in terms of how these different parts of our society work together maybe in a more constructive way.”
One of the main concerns for gardaí and other security forces is that the attackers in Nice and Germany were not on the police radar and appear to have become radicalised before anyone was aware that they posed a threat.
A security source told the Examiner: “Rapid radicalisation is an issue, but some people would know, like close family members. We would hope people would come forward beforehand.”
To date there have been no jihadist attacks in Ireland but the threat remains as tensions across the world continue to increase.